Mideast businesses see C-suite as key security advocates

New findings from Rackspace Technology find cybersecurity to be a bigger concern for C-suite than inflation and IT talent shortages

More than half of Middle East business leaders (59%) now include cybersecurity attacks as one of their three main business concerns, making it the chief priority ahead of even price inflation (47%) and IT talent shortages (49%).

According to new research from Rackspace Technology, almost three quarters of respondents (75%) feel that security teams have better board visibility than five years ago and (55%) now consider the C-suite to be advocates of cybersecurity.

The research has highlighted the impact the past five years of global cyber threats have had on the relationship between an organisation’s security team and its C-suite.

In general, communication between the two teams is also strong, with two thirds (65%) considering there to be few communication silos and almost seven in 10 (68%) considering the C-suite and security teams to collaborate regularly.

Rob Treacey, Head of EMEA Security at Rackspace Technology, comments, “Huge encouragement can be taken from the findings that cybersecurity is now being prioritised at board or C-suite level – though this is also a reflection of the scale and severity of the challenges many organisations currently face from cyber threats.

“Too often in the past we have seen security teams undermined or siloed within organisations when their voices needed to be heard. It is therefore unsurprising to see cybersecurity emerge as a pivotal business issue as senior leaders finally recognise the need to keep hackers out, and the potentially devastating consequences of not doing so.”

Increasing investment
This improved advocacy at a senior level is in turn helping to facilitate an increase in funding, with almost seven in 10 organisations (70%) currently upping their investment in cybersecurity.

Assigning this increased funding appropriately is emerging as the latest challenge, especially in a tightening labour market and with a premium on specialist cyber skills. In the Middle East, a lack of resources (28%) is considered the most common reason why an organisation needs to engage with external security providers, with a lack of expertise (51%) ranking second.

And with business operations now dominated by the cloud, almost two thirds (64%) of organisations are now investing in cloud native security another more specialised area of a whole cybersecurity programme.

Rob Treacey adds, “Making the case for increased investment is no longer a challenge for security teams with the C-suite so bought into the need. The issue is that these senior leaders expect problems to disappear by throwing money at them when this will only be done through smart decisions.

“Many organisations do not have the skills or resources to counter the level of threats they are likely to encounter and are struggling to source them in a tough labour market. While it is encouraging to see leadership taking the issue of security seriously, there remain real challenges when it comes to ensuring organisations keep cyber threats at bay.”